Corporate India Needs To Create Future-Ready Leaders: Chanda Kochhar, MD and CEO, ICICI Bank Ltd

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MUMBAI: “India has a unique demographic dividend where the median age of the nation is 26. The need is thus to find, equip and consciously and consistently groom young people into leadership roles,” said Ms Chanda Kochhar, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, ICICI Bank Limited, delivering the keynote address.

Ms. Kochhar was sharing her thoughts at her inaugural address at the flagship Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) 4th HR Summit with the theme ‘Leadership in Action’. The summit brought together the thought and action leaders from the HR domain to deliberate on the changing roles of HR and to foresee emerging trends.

A rapidly evolving world has thrown up a unique set of challenges for organizations – some of the most important ones in the field of Human Resource management.

Ms. Kochhar pointed out the changes in HR roles and responsibilities, “HR today has gone beyond recruitment and training of talent to morph into a key strategic ingredient that helps the company achieve its goals. Recruitment has changed into resource planning, business need assessment, optimal and effective resource mobilization and assisting CEO in driving capacity. Training has evolved into talent and leadership management. One of the key ingredients that has emerged in the HR function, is to have a framework to identify and nurture leadership.”

“The pace of change in the 21st century is much faster. Business models are rapidly getting obsolete. Hence a very important aspect for a company is to foresee change and position themselves favorably for it. And it is for HR to not just train and equip leaders to manage an organization, but to also look at future trends,” Ms.Kochhar believes.

Ms. Leena Nair, Chairperson-CII Maharashtra State and Executive Director – HR, Hindustan Unilever Ltd., said, “Leadership is always context based. Contrary to popular belief, leaders are made rather than just being born. They are made by a lot of hard work and commitment put up by organizations and their HR departments. Leaders today, besides being accountable for profits, are equally accountable for creating more leaders. Leadership today is becoming more purpose based, rather than profit based.”

Ms Chanda Kochhar, Ms Leena Nair  and Mr. Judhajit Das, CII HR Summit Chairman and Chief Human Resource, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, released a CII-KPMG exclusive report ‘Leadership in Action’.

The extent of Mergers and Acquisitions in India has gone up exponentially throwing up a greater challenge for HR, to somehow marry best practices of two organizations. A plenary session discussed ways of doing this. In an M&A scenario, it is HR that has to move from day one of the acquisition and have the added responsibilities of allying the fears of the people in both companies, while making the transition smooth. Transparency, constant communication and integrating systems while keeping needs of the people in mind, become the primary function of HR and leads to a smooth transaction.

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